JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In the wake of a new era of civil rights rallies and protest racism, Mississippi’s state flag is in the spotlight. Many individuals and groups are demanding the flag which bears the confederate emblem be removed.
The Mississippi Association of Educators is one of the most influential teacher organizations in the state. Now they want teachers and parents to do their part by calling on legislators to change the state flag.
Adding another voice to the call for change, the Mississippi Association for Educators doesn’t want to wait for a ballot option. They want lawmakers to act now on the flag.
“We are asking our educators to reach out to their state senators and representatives to ask that the state flag be changed,” MAE President Erica Jones said.
Hanging in every classroom the group sees the flag as a distraction and makes certain students uncomfortable while they try to learn.
“We want our classrooms to be a warm and inviting place for our students,” President Jones continued. “And seeing the state flag we don’t get that. We would love for the state flag to be replaced with something all Mississippians would be representative of themselves.”
“If you see that in the classroom and you previously know about the flag being a racist symbol they can’t focus on learning in the classroom,” Daquan Phillips of Yazoo County said. “Because they see the flag they’ve known about their entire life.”
After graduating from Yazoo County high school Daquan Phillips went on to Mississippi State where he joined the NAACP chapter to protest confederate emblems on campus.
“Kind of a march on campus and we were trying to call out Mark Keenum who was the president for not taking down the flags after we addressed him how we felt,” Phillips told us.
While some argue the symbol is history and shouldn’t be forgotten both MAE and activists like Daquan feel the truth of the past will always be taught better in the classroom.
“Instead of letting a family teach a child everything about the flag and what it stands for maybe let the teachers put their input for what it stood for,” Phillips added. “And how we can bring forth change.”
The Mississippi Association for Educators also calls on the state board of education to demand legislators vote now to change the flag and for all students to not be silent to racism. To see the sons of confederate’s response to this matter click here.